So, I chickened out of attending the Spring + JPA + Hibernate session… party because I know how to use it a little and partly due to the knowledge there would be strong pushback since we had previously used Hibernate at work. With that in mind, I decided to attend Developing Rich Internet Appications with Richard Monson Haefel.
The beginning was a little boring… but only because I wasn’t learning anything new… but I am sure it was interesting for those who were completely new to rich internet applications and wanted an overview of what was availble. I did learn one thing interesting though… JAWS, the java based screen reader for blind people has the capability to read applets and flash (specifically, Flex) applications. Something interesting to note when it comes to accessibility and section 508 compliance… although I still refrain from Flex due to the “plugin problem” … but it may be useful if developing a rich application that transcends the basic web technologies (video comes to mind).
A little interest was picked up midway when he introduced Silverlight and XUL. Silverlight has became interesting with Nokia’s announcement of supporting Silverlight on SymbianOS so it will definitely see some more market penetration in the future. I was very pleased he mentioned XUL… not too many people are aware of the application framework built into firefox. It seems like some have almost forgotten completely about XUL.
Curl was new to me… I had heard of curl before, as cURL. I almost hate the framework already for making me confused why a library for fetching content from remote URLs on linux is being presented as an RIA. But I’ll give it a look.
The presentation ended with a comparison of the different RIA available, the pros/cons and things to consider when choosing which is best for your application.
What I’d Like to Have Seen More Of?
I would have liked to see a lot more demos of “AJAX” toolkits…. I wanted to feel awed again like I did the first time I saw ExtJS or Script.aculo.us. I wanted to stand amazed at what was being shown to me. I didn’t get that feeling… for me it felt like 2005 all over again.
The first day of NFJS (especially the first sessions) is usually geared towards people who haven’t heard of these technologies… in fact there were a lot of people in the presentaton that asked lots of questions and probably got a lot out of it. For someone developing AJAX applications since 2004 it was kind of a poor choice (unless you took a prolonged break and didn’t know what is out there now).